Okay okay, help me out here

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by BrettG, Sep 15, 2004.

  1. BrettG

    BrettG TPF Noob!

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    My main interest in photography is landscapes. That's what got me interested in it, I loved seeing pictures of the natural beauty in this world and would say to myself "Damn I wish I could take pictures like that." So anyway, I know it's best when shooting a landscape to have something in the foreground, be it a branch, a bush, whatever. Aside from it being a general tip, in my experience I do believe it makes for a better landscape shot.

    I also know that to get everything in focus you're supposed to use a small aperature like f/16 or f/22. What I don't know is when I'm looking through the viewfinder, what exactly should I be focusing on; the foreground or my main subject? My camera doesn't have a depth of field preview on it (why in the hell did they get rid of that from the Rebel 2000 to the Rebel K2?) so I'm not sure which would be best. I tried testing recently, at f/22, one shot focused on the foreground, one the background, and that's mainly what came out focused in the pictures. This leaves me a bit confused, because I know that you CAN get everything in focus.

    I'd appreciate any help you guys can give me.
     
  2. oriecat

    oriecat work in progress

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  3. BrettG

    BrettG TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the link, looks useful. A quick (and stupid) question for you, one section in there says this:

    "Focus your lens at infinity and the leading edge of the area that is in focus is the hyperfocal point for that lens.

    Focus on that point instead of infinity and you'll have the greatest range of focus from infinity back toward your location."

    The part that confuses me is where he says "the leading edge of the area that is in focus is the hyperfocal point for that lens." What does he mean by the leading edge of the area that's in focus? Does that mean the area that's closest to being in focus (so for example if a scene I'm snapping has a rock close to me, followed by a bush, then a tree, and the bush is the closest object to being in focus when at infinity, I'd want to focus on the bush to get the hyperfocal point?)
     
  4. oriecat

    oriecat work in progress

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  5. BrettG

    BrettG TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, that helps a lot more (I think!) I'll have to test this out sometime this weekend.
     
  6. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Search for a "DOF calculator" of the web, and insert your format (35mm), focal length, aperture, etc... and it will create a chart telling you hyperfocal distances.

    A few things to remember if you don't know the hyperfocal distance and are trying to guess:

    The further away you focus, the more DOF you get.

    "Infinity" usually starts around 35 to 45 feet for most lenses. So you just need to get this distance within the far end of the DOF, to get everything past this distance in focus (or acceptable sharpness, which isn't quite the same thing).

    Wide angle lenses (or a zoom set to wide angle) have more DOF at a given aperture and focusing distance.


    One of the big advantages of knowing the hyperfocal distance is that if it is possible to use f/16 or f/11, and still get the DOF you need, then you will probably find that these apertures are slightly sharper than f/22.
     
  7. malachite

    malachite Heavily Medicated For Your Protection

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  8. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Because the company is run by sales people not photographers, and they saved 25 cents. Sorry, just my cynical nature (but I still believe it's 100% true!).

    :soapbox:
     
  9. BrettG

    BrettG TPF Noob!

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    You're probably right. I bought my K2 knowing nothing about cameras really (have only slightly increased my knowledge at this point :) ) and the sales guy told me the K2 is basically the exact same as the Rebel 2000, just an updated model. From what I can tell, he was right, leaving out the little mention of the depth of field preview. Of course, had he told me about that at the time, I wouldn't realize its usefulness, but it'd be a real neat feature to have.

    Guess it's trial and error for me until I can get this hyperfocal distance stuff burned into my memory.
     

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